Of the survey respondents who conducted either Google searches or social media searches:
Concerned about learning too much online?
Twenty-six percent were concerned about learning too much (For example, a candidate’s gender, religion, or race.)
Have your hiring decisions been influenced by what you found online?
Forty-one percent have been positively influenced to hire based on information they found online, while twenty-six percent have turned down a candidate based on what they found online.
Do you visit candidates’ social media pages (e.g., FaceBook pages) as part of your background checking procedures?
Nineteen percent of respondents indicated that they did visit candidates’ social media pages.
For those that do visit candidates' social media pages, overwhelmingly the HR department does the search.
Third party within the organization
Third party outside the organization
Of employers who search social media, most perform the search for finalists only.
For whom do you do a search?
All those who are contacted
All finalists for the position
Only those to whom a job has been offered
“Other responses” included the following:
Very few (fewer than 1%) of those who conduct social media searches ask for the applicant’s social media password.
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Do you conduct a Google or similar search?
Of those who do a social media search, the vast majority (80.5 percent) also conduct a Google or similar search on candidates.
Of those who do not conduct social media searches, only about 23.6 percent conduct a Google or similar search.
Comments tended to indicate a “sometimes” approach to doing Google or similar searches, for example:
For which candidates is the Google or similar search performed?
Who performs the Google or similar search?
As with the social media searches, most Google or similar searches are performed by the HR Department.
Who performs the Google search?
Internet background checks—yet another policy challenge for HR managers. Actually, our editors estimate that for most companies, there are 50 or so policies that need regular updating (or maybe need to be written). It's easy to let policies slide, but you can't afford to—your policies are your only hope for consistent and compliant management that avoids lawsuits.
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In all, SmartPolicies contains some 350 policies, arranged alphabetically from absenteeism and blogging to cell phone safety, EEO, voice mail, and workers' compensation. What's more, the CD format makes these policies easily customizable. Just add your company specifics or use as is.
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